Obama’s Narrative

Today in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman (I just can’t help commenting on his stuff…) wrote about what we think about Mr. Obama’s narrative of change. He talks about why we voted for it, what we expected from it, and ultimately – what we are getting from it.

Essentially, the point of his article is that we have been disconnected from the importance of all of the different thing that President Obama is trying to do at the same time. His narrative and discourse does not reflect the interconnected nature of all of the things that this country needs.

This includes:


Climate Change

Health Care

The list is endless. I personally put a lot of faith in Obama, but not faith that is blind. I know that he is a human, and I am constantly surprised by people who are shocked by this fact. This includes the majority of the pundits that discuss him and his actions on cable news stations. They are AMAZED by mistakes, challenges, and idiosyncracies that develop along the way.

This actually makes me giggle. Mr. Friedman as a columnist is fairly straight forward with the fact that he likes what he likes, and he doesn’t like what he doesn’t like. Today, he doesn’t like the fact that Obama’s job has gone straight into the stratosphere. He wants a secure homeland to make sure that Americans are happy.

The funny thing is – in my opinion – the very barriers that exist to this type of focus are the people who want to squash public debate at home. These are the people who use anti-Semitic and racially offensive remarks to get their points across. They sell books and TV ratings, but they most certainly do not cultivate a narrative of hope.

My favorite quote in this thought-provoking article comes at the end. Friedman quotes an author in saying

“You can’t get nation-building without shared sacrifice,” said Sandel, “and you cannot inspire shared sacrifice without a narrative that appeals to the common good — a narrative that challenges us to be citizens engaged in a common endeavor, not just consumers seeking the best deal for ourselves. Obama needs to energize the prose of his presidency by recapturing the poetry of his campaign.”

I second this motion. More poetry, please.

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